My last day on this year’s trip to DC had me visiting several clients in Arlington. One of these had me walking between Virginia Square and Clarendon Metro around “late lunchtime”, and it was impossible for me to resist another trip to El Pollo Rico for pollo a la brasa (a.k.a. Peruvian chicken). Starting, oh, around 15 years ago at least, pollo a la brasa joints seemed to start popping up all over Arlington. Indeed, I can think of at least a half dozen off of the top of my head. But El Pollo Rico is one of the older ones. It’s also better and cheaper than some of its competitors (although I admit I have yet to do an exhaustive review of Arlington pollo a la brasa joints, fun as that would be), so between that and its location, it’s my go-to joint for chicken in Arlington…
(Closed) Well, sometimes the combination of work and personal travel means that there literally is no rest for the weary. I had barely done laundry from the back-to-back-back Chicago, Dayton, and Austin trips, when my travels again had me heading out for 5 days to the DC are for a conference. I rather like going to DC (and do so a lot, usually 4-5 times a year), but it’s never convenient getting there from my house in New Hampshire; I either have to deal with planes, trains, and metros (BWI), a long bus ride (BOS), or inconvenient flight times (DCA). This time I opted for the last of these, since I was staying in Crystal City. Indeed, my with 6:45 am flight, I arrived at DCA and was out the door with my bags by 8:10am on a fabulous Sunday morning, with nothing on my slate until 1:45 in the afternoon (yes, my client scheduled things for Sunday…). After a nice, pleasant walk to the hotel (Yes, Crystal City is only about a 20 minute walk from DCA), I realized I had the better part of 4 hours to get something useful done. So I grabbed a bike from Capital Bikeshare (which is one of those bike rental services that’s just perfect for a visitor like myself), and decided to take a scenic ride north on the Mount Vernon Trail to Arlington, and Ray’s Hell Burger.
After completing my business trip in Arlington, I had a few hours to kill before I needed to head over to DC for my next meeting. Perusing the normal rating sites on my iPhone, I noticed that one place in Arlington in particular was getting consistently top marks: El Chilango.
The interesting thing here is the El Chilango isn’t in a part of Arlington particularly well known for good food. Located in a residential area at approximately the corner of 14th St N and Quinn Street, approximately equidistant from both the Courthouse and Rosslyn Metro stations, just off of Arlington Boulevard (and a stone’s toss from my brother’s old apartment on Oak St, uphill from the Iwo Jima memorial), El Chilango is a taco truck. Yes, Arlington now has a decent taco truck!
While I may have mentioned this before, one of the things I generally don’t like when I’m traveling is free breakfast in hotels. I have several reasons for this, but the big reasons are that (a) hotel breakfasts generally suck, especially for the price, and (b) one of the perks of the otherwise dismal life of the business traveler is the ability to try new places to eat. So, like most every time my schedule allows me to try a local place for breakfast instead of having bland waffles at the hotel, I try to do so, even if it requires getting up early. This time, I decided to walk several blocks from the hotel to Northside Social Coffee and Wine in Arlington.
Well, after after a few complications in my travel due to Columbus Day (The Marc trains weren’t running, and the Metro’s Orange line was farked), I made it to Arlington. After a fairly successful meeting the next day, I decided it would be a good opportunity to meet up with some of my DC area friends, and we decided a nice, large gathering at Kabob Bazaar in Clarendon for, well, kabobs, was in order…
In late August I had a business trip that included a stop in Arlington, Virginia. From roughly 1991 through earlier this year, my brother used to live in the DC area, so I’ve been coming to various Arlington and DC destinations for quite a long time. Indeed, I’ve long been a fan of several of the Arlington Vietnamese joints. Pho 75 has long been a favorite, and the Clarendon area used to be chock-a-block with little Vietnamese restaurants. Alas, times change, and many of the Clarendon Vietnamese places have been turned into parking lots, apartment buildings, or parking lots turned into apartment buildings.